Posts tagged ‘politics’

October 25, 2012

Voter ID

by pastortimfowler

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/madison_guy/6919635377/

I try to stay away from political stuff when I blog, but this is a subject that I think defies logic. Voter ID requirements seem to be a source of conflict. I just don’t understand it and here is why. From what I understand, the argument against requiring an ID to vote is about people who may be poor or live a long way from a place that issues IDs and therefore it is a hardship on them and risks disenfranchising them. If that were the case, I can see the point of the argument, but something about that does not make sense.
Voting is not something that everyone can do. You must be 18 to vote. You must not be a convicted felon. You must be a legal US citizen. You must live in certain districts to vote on certain races like county and city races. Without some form of ID, several of these requirements can not be verified. I think if the laws are on the books they should be enforced. I do not want a bunch of 15-year-old kids deciding the local school board or the president of the US. I don’t want someone who lives in another county deciding who represents me on the county council. I don’t want someone who is not a citizen of this country deciding who is our president. Call me crazy, but I can see the reasoning behind these laws.
But my argument is not against the laws, but against the logic of how difficult is is to get an ID for some people. I know that there are some in society who have a more difficult time than others when it comes to matters like this. It does not matter the race of the person, it is a matter most often of health, wealth (or the lack of), and age. I know these things can make doing anything more difficult. But here is my question, how long does it take to get an ID if you need one? Even if it were to take months or even a year, elections don’t come around that often and we know that most state and national elections happen every two years. Even under the worst cases, with that much time, and knowing the law requires it, anyone could get proper ID.
And what about other laws that require ID. For instance, you must be 18 to purchase those evil cigarettes. Every store that I have ever been to in the last 10 years says that they ID everyone before they will sell them a pack of cigarettes. Sure, if you are an 80-year-old man, you can buy them without an ID. Common sense says that he is older than 18, but what about that poor person who is in a wheel chair who wants a pack of cigarette and he is 18. Do they have to show an ID? Is that okay? Is it discrimination? That person has to have a proper ID and from what I remember, people purchase cigarettes quite often and I do not remember anyone ever claiming that proper ID to purchase cigarettes or alcohol as being disenfranchised.
I have to show proper ID to get the power in my house turned on, board a plane, drive my car, get into some buildings, catch fish or shoot deer and any number of other things that happen daily. But for some reason, getting an ID to vote, something that happens at best, annually, and something that has definite consequences if abused, is looked upon as evil and even racist by some. Try to get into a labor union meeting without proper ID. Try to get into a nightclub without proper ID. Try to get into Canada without proper ID. It won’t happen. Quit trying to vote without one.

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October 8, 2012

Politics And Friends

by pastortimfowler

Politics Balloons

Politics can really put a strain on relationships. It makes me wonder if we shouldn’t put a bit of thought into what is happening in our politics, or better yet, in our friendships, if we can become so divided over something like an election.
I have really tried to avoid voicing my political opinions very adamantly because I know that it would strain some relationships with some of my friends. It has already cost me one or two Facebook friends, which obviously were not real friends, because I either responded to something they said or they did not like what I said. Sadly, we can allow politics to interfere with friendships when they are rarely why we became friends to begin with.
Have we forgotten that as Americans we all have freedom of speech? It seems as if one side is always trying to make the other side sound as if they are anti-American or even bigoted if their opinion differs. But the beauty of America is that we all have the right to say what we think. Yes, even bigots can voice their opinion and I can’t do anything about it. I can lobby against their cause and I can vote against their candidate, but I cannot stop them from saying what they want to say, and yes, they can call me names too.
Isn’t friendship stronger than politics though? What makes your friendship strong is a relationship. That makes me wonder what kind of relationship we think that we have if an election season and ruin friendships? Facebook friends for the most part are not really friendships. I am talking about people whom we know or at least thought that we knew for some period of time. This precious bond of friendship is supposed to be one of respect and mutual admiration. We are supposed to know more about our friends than what pages they like and what pictures they share on a web-page. We should know what their deep-rooted beliefs are. Do they think that wealth should be redistributed or do they feel like they should be able to keep the money they earn and give to charity as desire? Do they believe that life is a precious gift from God and it begins at conception or do they feel like a woman can do whatever she wants with something that is within her own body? Do they feel like marriage is already defined or needs to be redefined? But do these things really make a friendship?
You know what surprises me? These things are rarely talked about when two friends get together for a lunch or game of cards or to watch a movie. These things are important, but most people don’t meet at political rallies to begin friendships. most friendships begin in school or on the golf course or at a kid’s soccer game. Most friendships are formed with the idea that you like that person for who they are, not what political views they have. And, these friendships should last even when you find out that he is a Republican and you are not or she is a liberal and you are not.
Some of my best friends hold vastly different political views than I do. I have known that for a long time and though they are wrong for disagreeing with me, (haha), we work together, play together, laugh together, cry together, and yes, we attend the same church together. We do this because politics is not the driving force behind our relationship. We can be different and still like each other. We can hold views that are very polarizing in the political world and not let it cause our friendship to suffer. Different is not always wrong and even if it is, how will you ever change someone’s mind if you don’t like them as a person?
America is a beautiful place where people from every walk of life can live together and voice their opinions and still love each other as fellow Americans. We can work together and play together and vote opposite of each other and at the end of the day, still be friends. If you can’t do this, perhaps you should evaluate who you call friends and what a true friend really is. Perhaps you should decide if politics is more important than a friend and if so, be prepared to live a lonely life. Politicians will say whatever it takes to get your vote, a friend will doesn’t care about your vote, whoever it is for, they care about you.

September 6, 2012

Force Fed God

by pastortimfowler

God is our...

Yesterday I saw on the news the vote to allow God to be part of the DNC platform again. Somehow the brilliant move to eliminate God from the platform was actually made and they had to vote on bringing Him back. Many think it was an oversight and never meant to have been such a big deal. If it was on purpose, I personally don’t understand why they would not want God there. He is usually very quiet and for the most part just observes such events. When you watch the vote that took place it was not convincing that the majority wanted God back on the platform. Either way, I believe He was being forced on those who did not want Him there to begin with. But there is no way to have a convention without God, like it or not.
Politics is a strange thing. You are either very passionate about your political views or you are barely aware of these sort of things. Those who are very passionate take great offense to anyone who would criticize their point of view and those who are not involved act as if they have never heard of the election system, other than the fact that we vote for who we would like to have as our leaders. I tend to be more of the type that could care less about most things that make the news and only focus on a couple of major issues. I don’t voice my politics to loudly, but don’t hide how I feel when asked.
God is a major factor in how I lean politically. But at the same time, I am not persuaded by just talk about God. I like to see the actions and most importantly, does what a politician say match up to what the Bible says. This is only applicable for moral issues. There are many issues that I have to go with my gut on and I always remember that there is no way a politician can keep his word on everything nor can he remember everything he has every said. So I don’t go for the gotcha moments that news programs like to run.
I do not believe that anyone who runs for public office wants to kill any people in our society. When I see images of people rolling little old ladies off cliffs, I laugh and think about how stupid some people must be to expect anyone to believe such garbage. I also don’t believe that politicians who say they will never raise taxes actually believe that we, the people, believe that is true. Most ads ran during a political campaign are designed to shock and play on the emotions of people. I believe that both political parties know that if they just ran ads with facts and figures that the people would probably fall asleep during election cycles. Politics have become big business for big egos.
I have good friends who are Democrats and good friend who are Republicans. Some are very involved in the process and others are casual observers. Neither are bad people, even the ones whom I totally disagree with politically. Some of them are very vocal about their affiliation to a particular party while others probably don’t even care enough to vote. But here is a fact.Your political party affiliation does not make you a Christian nor does it make you a good or bad Christian. It only makes you a Democrat or a Republican. All governments and their leaders are a result of a sovereign God allowing that leader to rule over His people. Christians are to respect whoever that is and follow the laws of the land. We are free to voice our opinions, but never free to condemn solely because we disagree with their policies. We must follow the laws of the land and use the proper means available to peacefully change the things that we don’t like.
We can not force God on people, nor do we have to. God has made Himself known through the wonder of His creation. He has set things in order according to His will and not ours. He will be at the DNC with or without a vote. He will be with the Republican nominees whether they want Him there or not. God is not elected by man and will never be dethroned by any vote or popular opinion or political affiliation. God is God because He always has been God and always will be. No need to force feed Him to anyone. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess. Not believing will not stop you from meeting Him. God is God alone.

May 30, 2012

Its ALL Your Fault

by pastortimfowler

Different Sides

Now that Mitt Romney has gained enough delegates to officially receive the Republican presidential nomination, the campaign is gonna get nasty. If you think that what you have heard up until now was bad, wait for what you are going to see in the next few months. These guys better put on their toughest skins and hang on for dear life.
I would be lying if I said that I totally hate the political season. I do get tired of the lies that are told from both sides. I also get tired of the smears of a personal nature. I wish that the candidates would just say what they are going to do and how they are going to do it and let us decide for ourselves about their character. But there has to be some way of knowing about a person’s past and who they associate with. It would be nice if the media would research this and put out an information source for those who want to read it. But that won’t happen and we, the voting public, will have to sort through the slants and angles that is called the news.
I guess what bothers me the most about this time of year is how I am almost forced to choose sides between friends. I know that I often voice my opinion in my blogs, but I try my best to keep it civil. I also feel that a blog is a place for thoughts, feelings, and opinions to be voiced. But sometimes Facebook, and yes I know I post this on Facebook, is a place where some really hateful stuff is posted that is very stereo typical and often down right ignorant and hateful. I am talking about people who I consider in many cases, personal friends. But they use Facebook to say things that I have never heard them say in person and it is often very decisive. I have seen this especially in the political realm. Right and left hate blurbs that are meant to somehow make you seem involved, often make you think about who your friends are. If they feel that strongly about their point of view and people who view things differently, then maybe the friendship needs to be examined.
Right now many of you are jumping to the conclusion that I am talking about you. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that I care that much about your stupid rants on Facebook. I care more about what they do to relationships. I never knew some things about some of my friends until they made that one really thoughtless posts that said something that lumped me into the group of worthless, lowlife, scum that you were talking about. And I bet you didn’t know that about me. Maybe we need to spend more time talking to those who are different from blasting a stereo type on Facebook.
Here is something that I know about differences. They are healthy in a relationship. My wife and I are almost complete opposites in many areas. We have been married for over 30 years even with those differences. But I never post something hateful about something that I know that she feels strongly about. That would hurt our relationship. Instead I appreciate our differences and have found that they make us a stronger couple. There are some things that I am passionately against that she likes, but that does not make her wrong or lump her into a group of hate mongers. I have found that some of those things make her far better at dealing with some situations than I could ever do.
In our political arena, we have become so polarized that we can see no good in the other party. But that is not the way our founding fathers intended it to be. They understood that there must be checks and balances in our leadership and that if each party used its strengths, together we would have a great country, like the one that we are in danger of losing if we continue the trend toward total one-sided hatred. Healthy debate is a wonderful thing, but stereo typing gets you to the point where nothing gets accomplished. Sadly we see this in Washington today. And I am sure that you know exactly which side is the problem (HAHAHA).
I have learned in my years of dealing with life and relationships that there is never only one side who can take all the blame. Sure there can be a degree that is greater on one side than the other, but never is it completely one-sided. We shouldn’t let politics divide us to the point of losing our ability to listen to other opinions and solutions to problems that need to be solved. And if we can’t agree that one side’s ideas are right for us, we don’t have to throw them into the category of evil.
We just celebrated Memorial Day to honor those who gave their lives for our freedom. I served in the Navy with people from every walk of life and never once did we let our differences stop us from serving the country that we love. It is freedom that allows us to have our opinions and to voice them. It is freedom that allows us to be different and still be Americans. So be careful not to get locked into the polarizing speech that causes folks to choose a side over a friendship. Strong friendships are far more valuable than strong opinions spoken behind the screen of a computer.

November 9, 2011

You Want Me To Listen?

by pastortimfowler

The political season is in full swing. This is one of my least favorite times. In case you are wondering, I consider myself a fairly conservative guy. If you have decided to never read my blog again because of that statement, then you are part of the problem that bothers me. America is a great country full of sinful people who will always make a mess of things if not kept in check. Whether you are conservative or liberal in your political likings, we should all decide to make a stand on a few things.
First we should all agree that our country is a great country and that there is nothing wrong with us being great. Greatness is more than being the strongest. We help more people around the world than any other country. We defend our friends and keep our enemies at check. We do more to keep our planet clean and safe than anyone else ever has or ever will. We have freedom to speak out against the things we don’t like and to make an honest living pursuing our passions. There is plenty of room for improvement and differing opinions but nowhere else in this world can you be as free as we are. That is how I can write this blog and you can agree or disagree with it openly.
Second, I think we should all hold our media accountable for what they put out as fact. This may spark some controversy, but stick with me. Right now, Herman Cain is being accused of sexual harassment by at least four women. At first, it would be easy to say that with that many who are accusing him, he must have done something. The majority of the media is reporting this as if it were fact, yet our courts would probably not take any of them as a legal case because hearsay is not admissible in court. And, in America, we are innocent until proven guilty. Not so in the media. For those on the liberal side who may think that this is fair, I am just as upset with those who covered anyone who accused Pres. Obama of not having a birth certificate.
The media has a responsibility to report facts, not opinions, when they claim to be reporting the news. Investigative journalists should remember the journalistic code of ethics that says than you never report on a subject without verifying your sources and their credibility. But those of us who watch the news never seem to question the ethics of those reporting as long as it suits our political agenda. I believe that we should all write letters expressing our dissatisfaction with inaccurate and unfair reporting no matter which side it is on. When they see that their customers are upset, things will change. Let me state very clearly that if a candidate has done something wrong that they should be raked over the coals until they apologize or get out of the business.
I did a blog a few weeks ago about how we need to think for ourselves and to think logically. How many things have been contradicted over the past five years by so call science and or studies or the media? One minute salt is bad for you and we are taking it out of food and the next it isn’t. One minute cell phones are causing gas pumps to blow up and the next there is no evidence at all that this is true. But still today there are signs at gas stations that tell you to turn them off. Weather forecasters tell us that each hurricane season will be the worst ever and every year it doesn’t seem to happen. When are we, the common folk, going to start thinking that the problem may not be the stuff that is being reported on and start wondering if the problem is not the ones doing the reporting?
Third, and last, with this all being tied back to our politics, I think that it is time to hold the feet of those who make promises in the campaign but break them in office, to the fire. I know that there are things beyond their control once in office, but don’t promise me that you will never do this or the first thing that you will do will be that, and the opposite happens and you didn’t put up one heck of a fight. I am sick of political speeches that promise the moon for my vote and all I get for my vote is a broken promise. We should vote out every politician who only talks the talk but never walks the walk. Pretty soon liberals and conservatives alike will have the government that we really want. Of the people, by the people, for the people. We should all ask the media and ask politicians, do you really want me to listen? If so, change some stuff.

September 12, 2011

I Rememeber 9/12

by pastortimfowler

Sunday was a tough day for Americans. We had to remember one of the worst days in our history. I am not one that thinks we should never see those images again, instead, I think we should see them at least once a week, every week as a reminder. For the most part I thought that yesterday’s ceremonies were tasteful and honoring, and I don’t want to get into the politics of it all, so I won’t.
For every bad thing that happens to us in life there are good that can come out of it. Sure, we can linger in the sadness and dwell in the past sorrows, but that is not what God would have us do. He gives us these things to strengthen us and allows us to help others when they face a tragedy in their lives. 9/11 was no different.
I remember 9/12 as the beginning of that strengthening of our country. The news channels began sounding the rally cry and Americans from every walk of life were united in the call to seek justice and to rebuild. There were no politics, no left or right, it was straight down the middle resolve to make it through this thing together. There was no blame or cynicism or conspiracy theories, just good ole American resolve to make things right.
I don’t remember how long it took before people started coming up with political agendas for their responses to 9/11, but the first one got the ball rolling for all the rest and a united America began to do what the terrorists had hoped to do with the attack; we began to divide. What the terrorists could not do, political motivations did. I am not sure who disgusts me more, the ones who attacked our country that day or the ones who attack it over and over when they point the finger of blame at anyone other than the terrorists who did this. This is not healthy for America and it only aids those who want to hurt us.
I know and most of us understand that there are people in this world who have a different belief system than we do. There are those who have no regard for freedom and the free market society that we enjoy here. I know that we have a great privilege to speak freely and voice our opinions against those that we disagree with. But there is a difference between disagreeing with those who oppose your ideas and hating them. I have heard people who live in this country and are citizens of this country say that they hate this country. Many are rich enough to do the following but they don’t…JUST MOVE TO ANOTHER COUNTRY! If what we have here is so bad, get out. Even poor Americans who hate the USA can afford to move to Mexico. If America is so bad, so evil, and so disgusting to you, leave. But they don’t. You know why? Because despite all of our flaws, and all of our differences, we area still the greatest nation this earth. And, if these same people were in another country trying to speak the hateful things that they say here, they would probably be put in jail or killed.
Thinking back on the events that happened ten years ago yesterday, I long for that unity in our country that was so evident in the weeks that followed. We are a great nation that when united can send a man to the moon and revolutionize the way the world acts and thinks. United we can overcome any obstacle thrown our way. But divided we will end up in a deep recession that causes people to be unemployed in numbers not seen since the great depression. It will cause morale to sink to all time lows and motivate nothing but hateful rhetoric. Yep, just like you see today.
I don’t think this is our country’s destiny and this is not where we will stay. We will overcome this just like we did on 9/11, ten years ago. On 9/12, ten years ago, we united as one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. I remember 9/12.

March 30, 2011

Politics and Religion

by pastortimfowler

Politics and religion have always been difficult to talk about without someone getting mad. So in today’s blog I am probably going to make someone mad by talking about both of them.
I believe that God wants us to work for what we have. That does not mean that we should not take care of those who can’t provide for themselves, but I think it also means that people who are fully capable of working and won’t, should be left to suffer the consequences of their actions. In Paul’s 2nd letter to Thessalonica, chapter 3 verse 10 he said it this way; if someone doesn’t want to work they shouldn’t be allowed to eat.
It sounds harsh, but we are talking about moochers not those in need.
Some in politics today believe that if we level the playing field by taking from those who have a lot and giving to those who have less, that we can eliminate the poor in our country. I say that this is impossible. Why? Because Jesus said in John 12:8 that we will ALWAYS have the poor with us. By that He means those who are in need, not those who want a handout. You can’t politically eliminate the poor, you can only buy votes.
So what can we do? The church has been given the command to help those in need. It is not the government’s responsibility to help the needy, but it is the church’s. Every church should consider how this can be accomplished. It is really quite simple because God gave us the answer. It is based on the biblical principle of tithing and giving.
The tithe is 10% of your income. It is what every Christian is told to give to the Lord’s work. Other giving is done out of love and the necessity to help others if . If you don’t trust faith on this, then do the math.
The average income in America is $45,000 per year. 10% of that is $4500. The average church attendance in America is 170 people per church. If each person gave 10% it would equal. $765,000 per year or $14,711 per week. The average annual budget of churches in the US is $380,000…annually!
God’s plan will work if only God’s people will do His plan. We will always have the poor, but we don’t have the giving to take care of them.
No matter what side you are on politically, if you want to help those in need, give to the local church. If they aren’t using the money for what they should, give it to one that does and watch how soon the others fall in step.
If you are a Christian, trust God with your money like you trust Him with your salvation and watch others come to know Jesus in amazing numbers!